The Final Bow.

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30 (NIV)

The final bow or curtain call occurs at the end of a performance when a crescendo of applause draws performers back to the stage to take a bow and lets the audience know the show is over.

In musical theatre, Luciano Pavarotti holds the record for having received 165 curtain calls, or final bows. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtain_call)

Despite the beautiful music Jesus’ earthly life had created, He wasn’t going for a record or motivated by thunderous applause when He took His final bow.

By human standard, His audience was unimpressive. 

On Good Friday, the foot of the cross was a gruesome and unbearable scene. At this crucial point for Jesus very few stood to look on. The throngs of people who’d pressed in on either side Him on the path toward Golgotha (Aramaic for ‘skull’) didn’t stick around to the end.

Agony.

Blood.

Gasps for breath.

Two bona fide thieves flanked One innocent Man. All three suffering until the breaking of bones on either side of Jesus hastened their death.

John 19 records that Mary, the mother of Jesus and his mother’s sister (Jesus’ aunt), Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene (give it up for the Marys in scripture!) and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, were there with Jesus while He suffered on the cross. (John 19:25-26)

Having accomplished all He was asked to do, Jesus wrapped up the performance of a lifetime in three words:

“It is finished.”

With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit (John 19:30).

Given the tortuous nature of flogging, an agonizing trek toward the Place of the Skull with a cross beam on His back, and resultant crucifixion, Jesus’ tender head bow was the result of physical death. His body could bear it no longer. 

But His head bow could easily have said. “Father, I’ve performed sinlessly, done all you’ve required of Me, and am taking my final bow.”

He was in no need of accolades. Earlier in His ministry God had spoken from the heavens, saying… “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

No higher honor.

As for a curtain call… At the moment He gave up His spirit, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51 (NIV)

After death drew Jesus’ bloody head down in tender bow and the estimated 30-foot long temple curtain was divinely ripped apart, I imagine the heavens exploded with a chorus of hallelujahs at the perfect and complete work on our behalf.

No way it went all silent up there.

The historical event was of such significance it resulted in a calendar split between B.C. and A.D. 

On this Good Friday, may we reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross as an atonement for sin and consider the cost of His final bow.

A free ticket to eternity with Jesus awaits you. Have you accepted it? 

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 

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